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Do you love Jewelry?

Me too. You might say, I’m a jewelry evangelist. I have a passion for teaching others, so much that I built the school, Metalwerx and then the Artisan’s Asylum Jewelry Studio. I teach workshops all over the US. What will you find here on my blog? Look for cool stories of jewelry and tips, photography, cooking, jewelry fabrication, travel and books. This blog is about what makes me tick and the cool stuff that’s out in the world.

Update #10: Working Hard

The Book

Hi There! Just wanted to give you a quick update. I have been super busy getting things done on the book. Writing, writing, writing. 

Hard at work!


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The Press

Jewelry of the Playa has been getting good press from Burning Man’s newsletter, Jack Rabbit Speaks. Read what they have to say about Jewelry of the Playa here!

A modest sample of amazing jewelry

The Archive

Wahoo! The archive at Playa Jewel is now over 70 submissions strong. I’ve been staring at the drop dead photography from George Post and reading LadyBee’s fine research on the many Burning Man theme camps.

Keep an eye out for more exciting updates in the near future!

Love and Gratitude,
Karen Christians

Update #9: The Cull

Stories of Gifting

More and more gifting stories are pouring in daily to our website. Two announcements on Burning Man's newsletter, Jack Rabbit Speaks has reached out to find some very cool work out there. Our final call is June 15th for stories and photos. If you have one, please upload it our website, www.playajewel.com. There are about 1000 pieces now, beautiful work and some really compelling stories. Take a look.
 

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The Necklace Factory taught burners how to professionally string beads. They brought thousands of beads complete with silk thread and clasps. Grateful burners who left with beaded necklaces, anklets and bracelets adorned the ceramic cat that sat in their tent. 

The Playajewel Project

Because of YOU and your interest, this idea is becoming more than a book with rewards. It has taken on a life of its own and will travel to New Mexico in 2015. It is our vision to share this collection of compelling work to others. Stay tuned for more details in the next update.

With love and gratitude,

Karen

UPDATE #8: DRUMROLL.....

First, A Quote

At my first burn in 2006, I found this pinned to a wall. Glad somebody eloquently stated how I feel about embracing life. 

Kickstarter Funded - $18,286

On the last day of our Kickstarter, I rode my bike home and slid into the front of my computer with 8 minutes to spare. The countdown in process. In one month, we had a launch party on April 11th with 60 people who cheered us on. I traveled to the SNAG metals conference in Minneapolis, outreached to thousands of folks, via Twitter, FB, Ganoksin.com, personal phone calls, text messages and chat groups. In NYC was the 45 mile Five Boro Ride with 35,000 other bikers pedaling while wearing playa jewelry. I visited the Kickstarter Block Party in Brooklyn where I met Margot Atwell who approved our project. The last 100 seconds were counting down, and all I could think of us is how fast this month has flown by and how many people have cheered us on. Thank you for making this such a huge success.


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What's Next?

Our team met on the phone, LadyBee, George and James from Creosphere, hammering out book details. With our marching orders in hand, the image long cull has begun, sorting through over 1,000 photos to 500 to make a book. I'm still amazed how great the work is, all handmade with love and symbols excerpted from so many aspects of our city. There are symbols of the Man, the City, themed jewelry and oh so out there jewelry, honored in playa dust, charcoal, bronze, brass, pewter, silver, gold, aluminum, wood, leather, glass, found objects, Fimo and so much more. You are all a highly creative bunch, and this will be a great book!

Take a Bow!

There are a few thank you's for which I need to acknowledge at this juncture. You are all important and I could not done this without you.

LadyBee aka Christine Kristen (Curator). Your collection splayed out onto your dining table made my jaw drop. It was like being an explorer in Egypt and discovering King Tut's Tomb. So many riches, so many hands and hearts that made beautiful work. Glad you found your way into my tent.

George Post (Principal Photographer). When ever I saw your jewelry photography in books, magazines or online, I admired the way you took jewelry which was familiar to me and made it pop off a page. Discovering that you are a Burner AND you published a book, was the mentor I was looking for. I discover new things and learn from you every day.

Sumner Silverman (Sculptor, carver, jeweler and psychologist). Without your refined eye and delicate fingers, we would not have the themed bronze pendants each year enabling us to teach to thousands of BRC Citizens and gift them. Thank you.

James and Colin of Creosphere: http://www.creosphere.net/ You two are awesome to work with and we feel safe in your hands.

Artisan's Asylum in Somerville is the largest makerspace in New England and where I teach jewelry, have my studio, write, interact with a huge community of people. I feel lucky here in this wonderful and magical place which is my day job. http://artisansasylum.com/site/

Oasis 47 is the camp where I flourished under the hot sun of the playa.

The Dave. My husband, friend, partner and supporter of many crazy ideas of his wife.

 With love and gratitude,

Karen